For generations, Indonesians have bought their food at traditional markets, pasar. The term pasar can refer to a gathering of tukang sayur (vendors who sell off carts which go through residential areas), to a rough, temporary structure where sellers gather in the morning, to the large, multistory buildings run by PD Pasar Jaya, Jakarta’s market authority.
Throughout Jakarta, the items sold in pasar are basically the same – fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, spices, dry goods and household items. Selection may vary slightly to better serve the needs of the ethnic groups which live in the area.
Instead of pushing a trolley down an air-conditioned aisle how about visiting a traditional market? You can take children with you but remember it may be too hot for the little ones. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, leave your credit card at home and take a friend, or maid along. You will experience a different way to shop, see many friendly faces and learn how to haggle, which can be fun and possibly addictive! Many stall-holders speak English, you are not the first foreigner they have seen. Go with an open mind, but not an open handbag and enjoy. Below is a list of some we have personally tried and tested for starters.
1. Pasar Mayestik
Here you can find fresh fruit and vegetables, fabrics, haberdashery, stationary, and household goods. This place is a popular stop for fabric shopping. Many stores have in house tailoring units. Most of the shops have sales and special prices. In case the store does not have a tailor attached to it, at the beginning of the pasar stands a green coloured building where there are dressmakers and vendors. These dressmakers prefer you to get a picture of what you would want to be stitched. Apart from the fabric shopping, there is a traditional market (pasar) where you can get fresh vegetables and fruits. The fresh produce comes early, so in case you need some veggies and fruits, be there by 6 am. Also sold is poultry and seafood. The prices are negotiable and it would be a good idea to have a rough figure on how much the vegetables/meat/fruits is sold at the supermarkets.
Jl.Kyai Maja Kebayoran Baru
2. Tanah Abang
Many small stores here sells textiles. With new air conditioned building, this place is more comfortable. Loads of fabrics stalls at very reasonable prices. And on the upstairs lots of clothing stands some selling minimum 3 pieces. It is more cheaper than the malls for sure!
Pergudangan Elang Laut, Tahap 2, Blok K No. 1, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 14470
3. Pasar Santa – Santa Modern Market
You can find many kinds of fruit and vegetables here, and also household goods. This building has everything from Batik to vegetables, even jewelry. At the basement is where you can shop for vegetables and fruits. Also there are stores selling general groceries like rice, pulses, eggs. On top, you will find local batik shops, shoes and jewelry stores.
Jalan Cisanggiri II, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta
4. Pasar Blok A
Fruit and vegetables, clothes, household goods, and even gold jewelry. Two story building with gold jewelry shops upstairs. Shoes, clothes, stationary, household, party supplies, and sports equipment on ground floor.Walk through to rear of building for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Jl. Panglima Polim Raya, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12160
5. Pasar Baru – Pasar Baru
Pasar Baru is consist with textiles, shoes, watches, clothes, and also Indian spices. Secondhand and retro clothes in Metro Shopping Centre. A semi-covered pedestrian street! This is a one stop shop for almost everything. Clothes, Fabrics, Musical Instruments, Antiques, Repair Shops (for electronics and watches) shoes etc. There are a few restaurants in the pasar where you can grab a bite to eat. At the end of the pasar are street vendors selling art paintings. You can bargain to buy everything here.
Jl. Ps. Baru No.69, Jakarta Pusat, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10710